Lavetan also makes a difference during crisis situations
Quality and safety are key considerations in the food industry. There is also the looming threat of various pathogenic microorganisms. We need reliable and sophisticated analyses on hand to rapidly detect these pathogens. But what happens when pathogens are detected in contaminated food during a crisis? Moreover, how do reliable partners like ourselves respond in such cases? We spoke to Kristien Adriaensen and Doreen Berghmans from Lavetan.
All hands on deck
The unthinkable happens: your production line is contaminated. Now what? This is where Lavetan steps in to add value. "We contact our customers immediately whenever a crisis arises," Kristien says. "We act quickly – ensuring open and clear communication to pinpoint the best solution together."
We always strive for the best solution. This is why we may reach out to external partners, such as universities or specialized laboratories. We leave nothing to chance.
Time for action. We immediately schedule an emergency meeting with the entire Lavetan team, including the laboratory managers. We analyze the crisis and discuss all of our options. "How do we approach this and what is most feasible for both us and the customer?" We apply our industry experience and expertise to reach the best and most efficient solution." Every crisis is unique, which leads to an individual approach in each case.
We bring all parties involved to the table to explore our options and determine a suitable approach. We consider the latest analysis methods. Should we change the way we work, initiate new analyses or simply scale up? If we want to scale up, for example, from ten to one hundred and fifty analyses a day, we have to determine whether this is feasible and whether we have enough materials. Flexibility is key in this regard.
We hold ongoing discussions with the customer. Everything is customized, especially during a crisis. "Does the customer want us to visit immediately to perform additional checks? We will find a way to make it happen." Collaboration is key – we want only the best results. "We also play an advisory role; we are much more than just a supplier. We are not a passive entity, but really think along as a partner," Kristien says. This is why we examine all options critically and focus less on what the customer wants and more what they need.
We are constantly talking to the customer. Not only as a supplier, but also as a partner.
Practical example: ethylene oxide crisis
In 2021, Europe suffered an ethylene oxide crisis. This was a food crisis that cost billions of dollars.
The solution? It came from Lavetan. "We anticipated this quickly," Doreen says. "Samples were sent to us at an unprecedented rate. We soon found the analysis method in use extremely tedious. We needed better and faster techniques to detect ethylene oxide."
As soon as a new, faster and officially recognized method was available, it was implemented, fine-tuned and awarded appropriate accreditation through the actions of the GBA Group. A brand new, improved method of analysis, was now officially recognized. This is now used in laboratories throughout the world. "We are able to pivot as fast as needed, allowing us to also deliver results at a rapid pace," Kristien says. With this rapid analysis, we are making an important contribution to controlling the ethylene oxide issue.